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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  February 18, 2010 4:00am-5:00am EST

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ameri america. ameri captioned by closed captioning services, inc >> bret: next on "special report," president says it prevented a second depression and critics say it hasn't accomplished a thing. we'll look at the stimulus one year later. conservatives gather at mount vernon to lay out principles they hope will return them to power. regulating power sources to forestall global warming runs into opposition from a government official. a new treatment of the power play involving a philandering president and ponderous prosecutor. all that plus the fox all-stars right here, right now. >> bret: welcome to washington, i'm bret baier. today is the one-year anniversary of the signing of
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the stimulus package. depending on whom you listen to, it's either been a qualified success or an unqualified failure. senior white house correspondent major garrett rounds up reaction. >> reporter: president obama knows america doesn't feel much like celebrating the one-year anniversary of the stimulus. >> let's face it, no large expenditure is ever that -- [ inaudible ] >> reporter: it was large. now the c.b.o. says the real cost is $862 billion. thanks to an unexpected spike in spending on jobless benefits and food stamps, the very things the stimulus was supposed to tame. white house economists still wince when reminded they predicted the stimulus would keep jobless below 8%. it's now 9.7% down from 10% in january. >> recession beginning at the end of seven. we've lost 8 million jobs.
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the intention of recovery act brought back something like 2 million. that doesn't fulfill all the hope. >> reporter: that's what they're celebrating the doom and gloom that isn't. >> we have rescued the economy from the worst of the crisis. >> unemployment rate would probably be 11% or higher if not for recovery program. >> reporter: republican critics say you can't measure success by what isn't, only by what is. >> this saved and created nonsense. i don't know what that is. i don't know what it looks like. >> chairman steele is more interested in playing politics than he is in fixing what was broken in this economy over the last eight years. >> they didn't deny it's done more to rescue the economy than revive it. here is where it's gone so far. medicare reimbursement, unemployment insurance, said to state with deficdeficit, student loan, social security benefit or payroll tax refund. >> the rescue was a critical
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component of recovery act. >> reporter: cash-strapped states receive $150 billion in stimulus cash, cushioning cut-backs and tax increases. still, states cut services or increase taxes by $185 billion in the past two years. those moves would have been even more harsh, the white house says, without the stimulus. >> tens of thousands of teacher just in new york city who were about to be fired and did not have to be fired because of the recovery act. that is an element of rescue. >> still, the white house says looking back there should have been more infrastructure spending and it should have been spent faster. there is also a marketing problem, the white house says. many americans they believe confuse the wall street bail-out with a stimulus. perhaps robert gibbs said today the stimulus should have been called the non-tarp act. bret? >> bret: major garrett live on the north lawn. thank you. housing construction was up 2.8% in january. highest activity level in six months. industrial production rose .9 of a production point,
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seventh consecutive monthly increase and stocks were up again. dow gained 40 1/2. the s&p had a proif fpr profit 4 2/3. nasdaq was up 12 and change. politicians were not involved in what they called a water shed moment of the home of the nation's first president. chief political correspondent carl cameron has the story. >> reporter: the most influential of grass root movement nationwide recommitted their movement to constitutional conservatism. >> those concerned about national security and economic opportunities, those that are concerned about religious liberty and personal responsibility. >> in the work since last summ summer, the document seems to unify conservatives in the era of obama. "the federal government today ignores the limits of the constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevairrelevant. the change we generally move is not movement away from but toward our founding principles.
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reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government. social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government. national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to american safety and leadership role in the world." >> it's a cautionary call to anyone in politics who doesn't operate from a basis of principle. who does so from a stand point of simply trying to find the middle on every issue. >> conservative action project and the council for national policy brought factions from across the conservative spectrum together. >> it's really going back to basic principles that bring us together. addition and multiplication, not division and subtractisubtr. >> it's becoming a popular theme on college campus. >> it's modelled after the 50-year-old sharon statement signed at sharon statement home of icon buckley who was brent bozel's uncle. he sees historic opportunity. >> a year ago people were
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writing the to obituary for the conservative movement. do you realize today there are almost 50% more self-identified conservatives in america than when reagan was president? >> the tea party organization signed on, too. >> limited government and free market te values. >> it's incumbent on tea party movement to be here? >> it is. the movement has matured over time. >> the document comes on the eve of cpac, conservative political action conference taking place every year in washington. thousands of conservatives are coming to d.c. for that. it moves beyond that and is heavily focussed on 2010 mid-term. for conservatives more importantly they are looking down the road to get the conservative movement back on track and grasp energy. >> it's become common place, but if you run for president you write a book and do a book tour now.
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a new book from mitt romney. >> no apology "the case for american greatness" is just coming out. it's a lot of emphasis on the economy. a lot of emphasis on mitt romney's economic and business acumen, of course, millionaire businessman, years in venture capit capitaca. it's tone with series of substantive policy and suggestions. book tour tells a story more than the pages here. first stop, iowa, home of the first caucuses. won't be long before he goes to new hampshire, home of the first primary. a campaign book tour perhaps for a man who has already been organizing his 2012 republican primary bid. >> bret: thanks. the fight for the republican gubernatorial nomination in texas is now in the hands of the voters. the ballot includes the current governor, a sitting u.s. senator, and a political novice who wants to carry her gun in the grocery store and kick the e.p.a. out of the state. correspondent chris gutierrez has more from dallas. >> reporter: today, governor rick perry cast his ballot
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early for texas primary held march 2. recent polls show the nearly ten-year incumbent with a comfortable lead in the g.o.p. gubernatorial race. poll conducted for texas' largest newspapers found perry leading with 45% of the vote. compared to senior senator hutchison 29% and debra medina 17%. >> i'm'd rather be where i'm at than where the other two are but the fact is i don't pay a lot attention to them. the day that matters is on the 2nd of march. >> reporter: governor perry wants to avoid a runoff, but he needs 50% of the vote to do it. >> usually an inum kent bets what they -- incumbent gets what they poll. polling 45, never polled more than a point or two higher than that. i expect to see a runoff. >> reporter: professor cal jillson like most texans thought the race between perry and hutchison would be closer. her decision to stay in
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washington to fight the healthcare bill may have hurt her campaign at home. >> i always put texas first, and always will. >> reporter: debra medina may be the beneficiary. one poll shows her trailing hutchisn by 2 points. >> wish we had made it clearer for you then. >> maybe you should have, governor. >> reporter: analysts say two recent debates could be the cause for medina spike to double-digit polling. >> perry and hutchison squabed like school children. she jumped up and people thought he was on her way to be a serious factor. >> reporter: last thursday when asked if the government played a role in the 9/11 terror attacks, medina said this on glenn beck's radio show -- >> there are some very good arguments and i think the american people have not seen all of the evidence there, so i'm not taking a position on that. >> reporter: medina later said she does not believe the government was responsible, but perry and hutchison already pounced on what most people pounced on what most perceive to be political
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blunder. the question is now can hutchison and medina get enough votes to force a runoff? in dallas, chris gutierrez, fox news. >> bret: congressman in iowa catches heat for packing heat against a home invader. we'll explain. keeping the heat on taliban in southern afghanistan. ♪ i was feeling at home er: wad 'cause of all of the stress ♪ ♪ had a poor credit score ♪ and the number would haunt me wherever i'd go ♪ ♪ thought i'd move to a place where my credit could stink ♪ ♪ and nobody would care ♪ i just wish that somebody had told me ♪ ♪ that place was a renaissance fair! ♪ ♪ free credit report dot com! tell your friends, ♪ ♪ tell your dad,tell your mom! ♪ never mind, they've been singing our songs ♪ ♪ since we first showed up with our pirate hats on! ♪ ♪ if you're not into fake sword fights ♪ ♪ pointy slippers and green wool tights ♪ ♪ take a tip from a knight who knows ♪ ♪ free credit report dot com, let's go! ♪ legal vo: offer applies with enrollment in triple advantage
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>> bret: white house officials today confirmed arrest of the top taliban commander. nato said most of the objectives of the current offensive in southern afghanistan have been achieved. today a symbolic act to indicate who is in charge. white house correspondent mike emanuel is monitoring development from the pentagon. >> reporter: key moment in marjah offensive, as an afghan soldier raises an afghan flag in the main market, symbolic of the country's government, seizing power from the taliban. marine on the ground in marjah offered this assessment of where things
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stand on day five. >> i'm feeling pretty confident we're going to take the whole city. help out the people here. i mean we're doing it pretty good. easier than what they say it was going to be. still a long way before it's going to be over. >> reporter: in addition to the military efforts there are signs that the coalition is being successful in winning over the hearts and minds of the local people. >> residents of marjah have been coming out of their homes and compounds, where taliban have been holding them captive and reported possible i.e.d. locations to service members. indicating a proactive approach or role in taking back their city. >> reporter: fox news connor powell is embedded with marines and spoke about disturbing taliban tactic. >> the taliban are using the afghan villagers that live in marjah as human shields as a way to taunt or bait coalition forces into firing on them. >> reporter: at the white house, the national security team met to give president obama an update on afghanistan and pakistan, part of the discussion in the situation room involved efforts at reintegrating
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lower level taliban, willing to renounce violence. >> it's clear that a lot of individuals with the taliban decided they did not want to stay in this stronghold and have left. >> reporter: a day after dodging questions about sensitive intelligence matter, the white house press secretary spoke more freely about the significance of the capture of the taliban's military chief. barabar in a joint pakistani u.s. raid. >> i do obviously this was the number two taliban, operational chief. it's a big success before the mutual effort efforts in the re. >> reporter: government officials in islamabad says he's talking and providing useful intelligence shared with the united states. if he's provided information, it's closely held by u.s. officials. >> bret: mmike emanuel at the
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pentagon. iraq top shiite cleric urging people to participate in the elections. grand ayatollah al-sistani is saying that not voting would allow others to achieve illegitimate goals. pakistan is backing down in the dispute with the administrator. they met today with supreme court justice and then said two judges nominated for promotion but rejected by the high court will stay in their current posts. iran supreme leader is accusing the u.s. of warmongering. and turning the persian gulf in arms depot. ayatoll ayatollah al ahamani said they punched the west in the mouth with last we can's anniversary of the islamic revolution. u.s. sent one of the top diplomats to syria for the first time in five years and comes on the heels of another big announcement aimed to establish constructive relationship between the two nations.
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correspondent amy kellogg reports from damascus. >> reporter: president obama made engaging syria a key part of the mideast policy. still on the u.s. list of state sponsors of terrorism and much criticized by the bush administration for support of hamas, syria is a serious player in quest for middle east peace. >> the fact that syria has the ties to the players indeed gives it strategic importance beyond its own size. >> reporter: on the streets and coffee shops of damascus, people seem to be embracing president obama's outreach to this part of the world but they're impatient for concrete results which may now be becoming. u.s. ambassador to syria has been named, robert ford. a man with much experience in the region. he will be posted pending senate confirmation. the last u.s. ambassador was withdrawn after the assassination of former lebanese prime minister five years ago. there was suspicions of
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syrian involvement which damascus denied. ambassador will have access to the highest level of government here. >> i think in -- [ inaudible ] the state and region, it's very important to keep on updated day-to-dade reading of both sides. >> reporter: the latest step in improvement of the u.s.-syria ties is burns to the palace in damascus. he's the highest career ranking diplomat in the state department met with the syrian president. >> we had intense discussions with the president and we talked cand candidly on areas w disagreed and identified areas of common ground we can build. >> reporter: it may help help logjams. syria wants sanctions removed and u.s. wants cooperation stabilizing iraq. >> i have no illusion about the challenges on the road ahead. but my meeting with the
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president leaves me hopeful that we can make progress together in the interest of both of our countries. >> reporter: toward a comprehensive peace in the region. people here are famous for saying syria with its diverse deck of cards is the key to peace in the middle east. that theory may soon be put to the test. in damascus, amy kellogg, fox news. >> bret: israel foreign minister says there is no reason to assume his country is behind the assassination of hamas military commander in dubai last month. an 11-person hit team kill kil mamabu in luxury hole. identities on the european passports appear stolen and at least seven match up with real people in israel who claim they are victims of identity theft. a new book has new revelations about president bill clinton's fight to hang on to his job after the monica lewinsky scandal. is it really the government's job to try to fix global warming? we'll meet a government official who doesn't think so.
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>> bret: there is of course heated debate whether man-made global warming is real and if it is, what should be done about it? the assault on the conventional wisdom continued 100 miles south of washington in richmond, virginia. correspondent molly henneberg reports an officer of the commonwealth is calling for some common sense. >> reporter: virginia republican attorney general ken kuchinelli says the e.p.a. needs to go back to the drawing board. >> restart the process and this time use rigorous defensible science. >> reporter: he wants the agency to rethink the findings on green house gases announced in december. mainly a determination by e.p.a. administrator lisa
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jackson that human activity increases levels of greenhouse gas pollution. and that, "greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations." kuchinelli says efforts by the e.p.a. to cap such emission would create "staggering burden" center state residents and businesses. >> every virginian would take an economic beating if this goes forward. >> reporter: the e.p.a. says a response the forthcoming, but others who support the e.p.a.'s efforts to enact carbon cap on vehicle commissions say kuchinells just playing politics. >> it's clear it's coming from lawyers and not scientists and there is really no new science that needs to be resolved. >> reporter: the science that climatologists have been using has come under fire. recently the 2007 united nations panel report on climate change was found to contain mistakes. including a claim that the himalayan glaciers would melt away by the year 2035. later said to be incorrect. one of the lead scientists in
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the climategate e-mail scandal last year phil jones acknowledged there's been no statistically significant global warming since 1995, but he claims most of the climate warming since 1950 is, "due to human activity." bell says the recent headlines in the "washington post" and the "wall street journal" suggesting that climate change movement has had a setback miss the most important points. >> when we have the national academy of sciences and 18 of the major scientific institutions in the united states saying that humans are causing the planet to warm, there's really not any debate here. >> reporter: the "new york times" editorial page agrees. but also today, the united nations climate panel took them to task for report saying the "panel cannot allow more missteps" and at the very least must tighten procedures. in washington, h molly henneberg, fox news. >> bret: toyota and federal government looking in new series of complaints this
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time over the possible power steering problems for best-selling car, the corolla. the department of transportation says it will open investigation in the matter thursday. toyota has already recalled 8.5 million vehicles worldwide over acceleration and braking problems. animal rights advocates go after a congressman and a celebrity chef. plus, it has definitely not been all fun and games at the vancouver olympics.
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>> bret: and now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. canada has earned two gold medals in the winter games so far but it has also earned some harsh reviews as olympic hosts. the biggest cloud, of course, hanging over the games has been friday's fatal accident involving the luger from the republic of georgia and the safety of that luge track. then it was the pillar that failed to rise during the opening ceremony. the seattle times points out that equipment such as the green powered ice cleaner has broken down repeatedly causing event delays. organizers can't control the weather but unseasonably warm weather has forced them to truck in snow. practices and events have been rescheduled because of fog or rain on cypress mountain buss have broken down or gotten lost on the way up. forcing fans to wait for hours outside. 20,000 tickets have been
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cancelled for events on the mountain because of the closure of viewing area. and even the display of the olympic flame has rough feld some feathers because as you can see there of the chain link fence surrounding it one spectator complained, quote, mr. prime minister tear this fence down. today a ramp was open to allow unobstructed viewing. two goaltenders on the u.s. hockey team were told to cover or remove slogans on their helmets because they violate international committee rules. jonathan quick's mask featured a support the troops message. ryan miller had miller time on his. olympic rules ban political propaganda or advertisements on equipment. iowa republican congressman steve king is being accused of racoon abuse by the animal rights group people for the earth thick call treatment of animals. king recently posted on twitter during a blizzard he shot an uninvited guest, a crazy raccoon chewing and clawing his way into
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my outside. desert eagle one, did he crazy racoon zero. he told king to pick on someone your own size. not a small animal seeking warmth in a blizzard. probably not happy with italian sheriff bigazzi either. he shocked his italian viewers on air that saying stewed cat is a tuscan delicacy he has enjoined several times. cat tastes much better than chicken, rabbit or pigeon. italian state tv has different tastes indefinitely suspending the cat-loving cook. a new book paints an intimate portrait of a president fighting for his job and his legacy against a special prosecutor who never had prosecuted. but was going after the leader of the free world. correspondent james rosen looks inside. >> a decade in the making, ken gormley's the death of american
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virtue interviews with all of the major players hours with kenneth starr and bill clinton. and the former president remained fighting mad about the impeachment battle which he called a partisan hit job. i will also have an asterisk after my name, but i hope i have two asterisks, one is they impeefd him and the other is he stood up and beat them like a yard dog. he divided his own adversaries as true crusaders who believe god was on their side. ken starr was their errand boy and he danced to their tune just as hard as he could dance. asked about the book today and whether he bears any remorse for his own rule, he says he hasn't read the book. >> my remorse doesn't have anything to do with what weather what was done was legal or constitutional. no serious objective observer doubts that there was rampant, flagrant abuse of power and that a lot of people who should have been commenting on it were stunningly silent. >> prosecutors have power and they should be called to account
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for that power, but that having been said and mindful of the criticisms, i think the investigation was conducted with honor and with integrity. >> gormley faults independent counsel ken starr for moving too slowly and having free usely provided legal counsel to the lawyers for paula jones. the woman whose sexual harassment against her brought to light the affair with monica lewenski. mr. clinton on the day before he left office his testimony was vague and misleading and paid a fine. prosecutors shift away from the water water real estate probe and affair likely spared hillary clinton from indictment. alleging. >> it was somewhere i wasn't supposed to be. i was able. >> what was on it? >> it turned out to be a draft driment of both hillary clinton and webster hubble dealing with water water related matters. >> in her dozens of hours of
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interviews with gormley monica lewenski emphatically denied she came to washington bent on seducing the president. not at all, she laughed. i didn't find him attractive at first. i don't think he looks good on tv. in washington, james rosen, fox news. >> the catholic archdiocese here in washington has ended its 80-year-old foster care program over the issue of same sex marriage. a new law here in the district of columbia takes effect soon that would require the licensing of same sex couples. the church disagrees with it so it has transferred its entire program of 43 children, 35 families, and seven staff members to another provider. eight baptist missionaries have been released from jail in haiti. two are still in custody. they were accused of kidnapping haitian children last month. the americans who deny any wrongdoing say they were trying to help orphans from last month's earthquake. parents are leading a revolution in education in california. go to /special report. you can see a story you only get
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on our home page. correspondent william la jeunesse tells us how a new law lets parents determine whether changes need to be made in their children's education, including firing principals and teachers, even closing down schools. plus, don't forget "special report" online begins tonight 7:00 p.m. eastern. you will find the link right there on the right-hand side of the web page. watch william's story. log on early for the online show and log in for the panel right after let me tell you about a very important phone call i made. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare, call now to find out how an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company, helps cover some of the medical expenses... not paid by medicare part b. that can save you from paying up to thousands of dollars...
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>> there have never been a program at this scale move at this speed that has been enacted as effectively and as transparently as the recovery act. one year later if is largely thanks to the recovery act that a second depression is not likely. >> bret: that was comments today. critics say a expression was avoided because of the troubled
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asset relief package, the tarp, one that was passed under president bush and all the things that the federal reserve did. not the stimulus package they also point to this bar graph sent out by the administration in january of 2009. it shows what the administration said would happen with the stimulus package and without the stimulus package and you see that top line supposedly at 9% for unemployment without the recovery plan. the stimulus package. of course, we reached well over 10% unemployment and now unemployment stands at 9.6%. what about all of this? the stimulus package one year ago today lit's bring our panel steve hayes senior writer for "the weekly standard." morton kondracke morton kondracke executive editor of "roll call" and charles krauthammer. charles? >> you see the graph, you see the upper line is what obama said we avoided, which he says was the great depression,. >> bret: let's put up the graph again. >> but if that's the case, in
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2009, which was worse than the top line of the graph, as you said, 10% unemployment, what does that mean, that we were in a great depression squared last year? look, all of this is by her bow lee nonsense ad hoc numbers. the only hard number in all of this is the amount spent on the stimulus. that's the only real number which the c.b.o. has told us is now up to 862 billion. it will be a trillion with all the interest. and we know that that is going to have a real effect, meaning it's going to increase our debt payments, interest, payments and interest rates in the future. that's a fact. everything else is speculative. this idea of jobs saved or created the bureau of labor statistics has hundreds of numbers and statistics. it does not have a statistic dealing with, say, jobs. and the reason is that it can't be measured. it doesn't exist. it's a fiction.
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the administration repeats it saved a million jobs, a million and a half or two million. all we know for sure is that the huge expenditures that were given to states to bail out the ones that had overspent or were almost bankrupt did for a year or two of the stimulus keep a lot of bureaucrats and state governments employed. so, perhaps you could say well, in the midst of a real recession you wanted to bottom out the trough, but a trillion dollars is a high price for a very small and temporary effect. >> bret: i said the unemployment rate as at 9.6%. it's at 9.7. the long term outlook was to hover around 9.5. there was a cbs poll that said people believed already created jobs by the stimulus, the percentage of people 6% believed that the stimulus package has already created jobs. that's pretty low when you look at the margin of error. it could be 3%. >> well, the public obviously
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doesn't believe this thing. look, i cannot believe that if you throw a trillion dollars at a depression, something like 280, $280 billion has been sent so far that you haven't saved some jobs. nobody knows how many jobs you have saved. there are a couple of good things about this of. first. the education department used half a of a hundred billion dollars so far. not only to pay teachers to keep teaching kids in school who might otherwise have been laid off because the states couldn't afford to pay them will yous about to stimulate some real education reform. i mean state after state after state has adopted things like raising the cap on charter schools, which is a requirement in order to meet the race to the top ones. that's part of the stimulus package. secondly, a lot of money has been used for medical research to -- medical research and the nih budget had been slapped for
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five years because the bush administration refused to continue the doubling procedure that it had started. and so it needed a bump. so those are good things. now, the problem here is that if the obama administration claims that 2 million jobs have been saved, let's accept that, that number, although we can't prove it, you spend $282 billion, in my math is correct, that's something like $140,000 per job saved which seems like an awful lot of money. >> bret: steve, this is what vice president biden said today on the morning show about the stimulus package. >> it was designed to have two stages to it. we have only been half way through the act. the job creating portions are really loaded at the second half. yes, they have gotten their money's worth. >> bret: here is what dr. kristina roamer said in
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congressional testimony back in october. quote. most analysts predict that the fiscal stimulus will have its greatest impact on the growth in second and third quarters of 2009. by 2010 fiscal stimulus will likely be contributing little to further growth. she is the economic advisor to the president. >> contradictions are abundant here. not only that the white house can't agree on sunday shows on its web site on exactly how many saved or created jobs. it's a fictional number as charles pointed out. you are hearing a variance of a million jobs. it's, i think a troubling thing for the white house that they can't actually be more specific. but the real question, one year in, is did it work? i think the answer is not much in the short-term and emphatic no in the long-term. the white house approached the stimulus with two goals, the short-term goal was to give the jolt to keep unemployment from going over 8%. it didn't provide much of a jolt at all. it certainly didn't provide unemployment from going over 8%. so i think you have to say it
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failed in that regard. but the second point and i think arguably the more important point is when you heard president obama talk about the stimulus and what it was going to do, he talked about remaking the american economy fundamentally changing the way that the american economy worked. he hasn't done that and not only has he not done that it involved, that was going the first step of several steps. second step was going to be health care. then it was going to be cap and trade. i think it's clear that the stimulus and problems associated with the stimulus, the lack of effectiveness, the waste that's been everywhere and been much in evidence, been much remarked about and the costs, primarily the cost, the size of the stimulus went directly to the defeat of health care, raised questions about health care. you have seen then his domestic agenda crumble as a result. >> bret: charles, quickly, the administration and top democrats on capitol hill are not calling it another stimulus. but the jobs bill is shaping up to be much like the first one, isn't it? >> nt it's exactly the same idea with a new name.
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they understand that stimulus is not good p.r. people hate stimulus. as you said 6% believe it worked. 7% of americans believe elvis is alive. so it's, you know, neck and neck in those two beliefs. they rename it a jobs bill. it's the same idea. i think there is a lot of skepticism. to whether you can really have a job create a job is going to be a real job as opposed to just hanging on to a bureaucratic job for a year or two. >> bret: we will look at a new book about an old controversy bill clinton vs. ken starr after the break. at the first sign of a cold... ( sneezing ) i didn't take zicam cold remedy... but i did. zicam reduces the duration of a cold. ( sneezing ) no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no... can you do it by 3:00 ? yes, i can. how about 2:00 ? hmm... ( sneezing ) ( moaning
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>> i expressed my remorse at the time. my remorse does not have anything to do with whether what was done was legal or
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constitutional. no serious objective observer doubts that there was rampant, flagrant abuse of power. and that a lot of people who should have been commenting on it were stunningly silent. >> prosecutors have power and they should be called to account for that power. but that having been said and mindful of the criticisms, i think that the investigation was conducted with honor and with integrity. >> bret: all of this is coming up because a new book is out. ken gormley's book the death of american virtue. it boasts interviews with all of the major players back in the clinton lewenski affair and impeachment. here is a couple of quotes from the former president. quote: they ran a partisan hit job run by a bitter right winger henry hyde. of course the late congressman from illinois. quote, ken starr was their errand boy and he danced to their tune just as hard as he could dance. and this one, i will have an asterisk after my name but i hope i will have two asterisks,
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one, they impeached him and the other he stood up to them and beat them and he beat them like a yard dog. we're back with the panel. mort, how about this? >> well, i haven't read the book. it's 800 pages long. it's going to take a while to read. all the reviews say that it's scrupulously fair and even-handed. and exhaustive, obviously if it is 800 pages long. but from what we know, clinton does come off as usual as graceless and unrepentant and a bit triumphantless because he beat the republicans and his poll ratings went up during the entire impeachment scandal. so, you know, he thinks that he has been historically vindicated on the point of his saying that henry hyde was a bitter right winger, and an extremist, what i have heard over and over and over again is that henry hyde, the chairman of the house judiciary committee really went into this thinking that he was going to end up advocating censure of clinton and would
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have gonna route had it not been for the clinton white house's revealing the fact that extra amarital affair in his youth and he was being challenged by the white house in this way and couldn't back down and had to go where the evidence led, all the way. clinton did lie under oath and, therefore, you know, he had to go to impeachment. >> bret: charles, a couple of interesting developments, one that gormley said ken starr worked for some time for paula jones' attorneys before he took over as independent prosecutor, which raised some questions. and then secondly, that hillary clinton may have been -- there was a draft indictment to go after hillary clinton before the bill clinton monica lewenski thing developed over white water. that's interesting. >> senator moynahan was once asked if he had read a book he said yes but not personally. so my relationship with the gormley book, i do believe is
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scrupulous. i have heard about it as you say. it covers a lot of this ground. i think in looking at the whole affair, it's really a period of peace. it's like reading jane austin. you have got to imagine what it was in that era. the 1990s was an incredibly stranger are a. it was profound peace, prosperity. and only in that circumstance could you ever have had high drama over what was essentially a trivial affair. i'm talking about his dal yens. there was a core issue here, lying under oath. it was a serious issue because, in fact, clinton found that his license in arkansas to practice law was suspended as a result of that. so that in and of itself is not a trivial issue. to have risen to the point of only our second impeachment in the history of our country could only have happened in this holiday from history which we had between the end of the cold war and the beginning of the war on jihadism on 9/11. that was a strange period and it
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looks odd even today. >> bret: in a post 9/11 world, steve, it is a different look back. however, you look at president as this prosecutor said, lying under oath, it was serious. >> yeah. i think it was serious. and i think, you know, by all accounts, again, i haven't read the book, but by all accounts this is a fair rendering of what ken starr did and how seriously he took his jobs. there were excesses there. where there were excesses it wasn't because he was a partisan. it's because he may have taken his job too seriously if that's possible for a prosecutor. what struck me in watching the video of bill clinton. >> bret: today. >> yeah, today. here we are a decade later a message. politician talking about the radical republicans. they are out to get him. beating up ken starr. i mean, this is exactly what we all lived through at this time when as charles points out was peace and prosperity but it was deceptive peace and prosperity. >> bret: just got those two sentence. so he must be okay.
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>> bret: finally tonight, the record snowfall here in washington grabbed, of course, a lot of news coverage and local newscasts after days of snow stories, well, they really couldn't help themselves. ♪ >> say it ain't snow. >> say it isn't snow. >> say it ain't snow. >> say it ain't snow. >> snow more. >> snow more. >> snow more. >> snow more. >> snow more. >> please. >> no business like snow business. >> snow news is good news. >> snow kidding. >> snow joke. >> no way. >> here we snow again. >> bad for business. >> if i ever say baz for blisness, shoot me. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. that


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